Iraqi refugees look to U.S. to fulfill pledge

By Matthew Hay Brown | Sun Reporter
WASHINGTON – Ban Saadi Abdallatif still has trouble sleeping some nights, remembering her uncle and cousin, shot dead by the militia, or thinking about her brother’s narrow escape from kidnappers. But it’s nothing like the fear she lived with back in Diyala, where law and order broke down after U.S. forces invaded Iraq, and insurgents targeted her mixed Shiite-Sunni family.

“I feel relief to be in the United States,” said the 31-year-old former teacher, who arrived in Laurel with her 9-year-old son in September. “I will not plan to go back to Iraq.”

Abdallatif is one of the lucky few. Of the more than 2 million Iraqis who have fled the country since the 2003 invasion, fewer than 3,000 have been allowed to resettle in the United States.